WW2 Infantry Platoon vs. 2005 platoon: who would win?

#1
Forget FGA, MLRS etc, but if it would be possible via eg. the magic of SAWES to have one scrapping against the other, who would win?

And why?

Light role only please, no WR etc.
 
#2
are we talking veteran platoons here?

Id put my money on ww2 guys then if veterans, if both were not then Id say todays platoon

I think we probaly get taught more now about changing positions etc, lessons learnt in blood from boer war onwards

but if the ww2 guys had been through the mill they would have learnt those lessons well, or theyd be , erm, dead

why not get in touch with a walt group and make it reality? (with live rounds)
 
#3
thank you for that closely argued and well thought out response, CAZ.

Perhaps you could come back when you have a bit less time?

:roll:
 
#5
Are we talking Big Red One from North Africa to Czechoslovakia vs. Mississippi Army Reserve in Iraq?

I'd go with the Marine's 1st MEU outta Fallujah ...

training...experience...ability and motivation.
 
#6
Bravo_Bravo said:
Forget FGA, MLRS etc, but if it would be possible via eg. the magic of SAWES to have one scrapping against the other, who would win?

And why?

Light role only please, no WR etc.
.303 No4, Bren Guns Vs SA 80, LSW. WW2 guys brown bread. Why? Stiff tactics, Slow Rate of fire, no optical sight, limited traning, sniney bits on webbing.
 

Zoid

Old-Salt
#8
As CAZ said, it's all about experience, isn't it?

Some of those WW2 boys went through hell and back for years, in an equally matched 2 sided conventional conflict - this does not happen nowadays.

As such, take some veterans straight from the war in '45 and I've no doubt in my mind they could pretty much sort out us fellas today given equal equipment. And they'd do it smerking woodbines and knocking back the spirits.

IMO WW2 cannot be compared with any conflict we've been through in recent times. Heroes out of necessity a lot of those geezers, not out of choice.
 
#9
come_to_arrest_the_zulus said:
Bravo_Bravo said:
thank you for that closely argued and well thought out response, CAZ.

Perhaps you could come back when you have a bit less time?

:roll:
perhaps you could dress up as a french maid and suck my balls?
Ha! ha! ha!

Thats like one of those joke things, bur without the laughing bits, right?

FFS.. why do I bother with the West Ham Side Boys??
 
#10
Experience will only go so far. Commanders in the modern army would tend to have had longer to learn the trade. Most NCOs of WW2 had been working prior to the war. Motivation would also be another factor to consider. It would be difficult at the end of the war to compare the soldiers then with what we would call conscripts after some had been in uniform for six year, but they are still conscripts doing the job because they have to not want to.

Equipment is the other part. Concealment of the modern soldier is far better than WW2 in our can’t-see-me-suit and the modern soldiers ability to see is far superior to that of WW2 when the SC may have had binos. Now all soldiers have them on the rifle. Ammunition load is also greater today and the range of ammo types with the platoon able to fire grenades down to section level and the quantity of automatic weapons far exceeds the WW2 platoon (has the 51 been withdrawn now?). Ballistic protection has also improved over the years but this has effected the weight the soldiers carry. We all know that we carry far too much, then and now, but I think the WW2 would have slightly lest but modern soldiers have better weight distribution.

The WW2 soldier was taught to shoot and shoot to longer ranges accurately. Remember all them 1000 Yd ranges. But this would be offset by his inability to see the target and his rate of fire. The ability of the PC to control his sections is now far greater. I am old enough to remember and use the A40 when it sometimes worked! Now we have radios down to the soldier that are reliable and have a useful range. Controlling a section by voice is no joke and relied on the individual soldier being able to pass messages to each other.

The tactical use of the Pl was very rigid compared to now. The SC relied on the 2i/c to be able to read the battle and make decisions on his last orders. When the gun group was tasked that was probably the last the SC saw of it till the re-org. The same would happen to the PC with the sections. If the PC let his reserve go that was it. Now he still has a chance to re-group a reserve if things go wrong. The most powerful weapon the PC has on his side is his radio, a tool theWW2 commander did not have.

So I think it would be slaughter with the WW2 veterans not knowing what hit them.

As a final word my grandfather served in both wars and was watching the modern 1980s Bn troop. An old and bold sat by him commented on the drill of the modern soldier not being up to the standard of the old army. He was shot down in flames as my grandfather reminded him that in our day all we had to learn was the rifle, Lewis gun and Mils bomb and we had time to spend on the drill square practising. Now they have a greater range of weapons and skills to learn and drill is not that important.
 
#12
It stands to reason that a bunch of 80 year olds against 20 year olds would come off worse. For one thing, you'd have to dig in their wheelchairs on the reorg.
 
#13
Sydney Jarry (wrote 18 Pl) gave us a talk at PCBC.

A great guy to listen to but one or two things stick in my mind.

MG42, is obviously a very capable machine gun with a high rate of fire and the Germans built their sections around it. Obviously it spewed out the rounds and kept heads down. However because of its rate of fire the Germans had to carry half their body weight in MG rounds to keep the thing fed. This slowed them down and kept half the blokes resupplying the gun. He rated the bren because it fired slower!

He also said that the SMLE was a great weapon in the right hands and delivered a good weight of fire. He said that he would bet on a section of his blokes with their kit against a modern soldier.
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#15
Also from Sydney Jary and some other veterans of the Wessex Division, if this theoretical fight happened in open/hilly ground the greater range of the WW2 weapons would make a great difference, Likewise the power of the rounds from WW2 weapons would render EBA much less effective. If facing well positioned German machine guns then I expect todays troops would fair much the same as WW2 troops since the best way of defeating them was rapid infiltration and trying to win the firefight was a waste of time. In Fibua todays soldiers would win hands down (again based on talks from veterans from Market Garden) due to tactics and equipment.

What I've ignored completely is the technology like CWS, SUSAT, radios for command and control and UBGLs.
 
#16
LostBoss said:
Sydney Jarry (wrote 18 Pl) gave us a talk at PCBC.

A great guy to listen to but one or two things stick in my mind.

MG42, is obviously a very capable machine gun with a high rate of fire and the Germans built their sections around it. Obviously it spewed out the rounds and kept heads down. However because of its rate of fire the Germans had to carry half their body weight in MG rounds to keep the thing fed. This slowed them down and kept half the blokes resupplying the gun. He rated the bren because it fired slower!

He also said that the SMLE was a great weapon in the right hands and delivered a good weight of fire. He said that he would bet on a section of his blokes with their kit against a modern soldier.
I also remember old Sydney laughing at the amount of equipment we continue to hump around the battlefield, which reduces our tactical mobility in relation to a WW2 gang.

As for weight of fire with Bren and MG34/42, tests have proven that the overall weight of fire in a given time-frame, achievable by the two, is pretty much equal, due to barrel changes / having to move the MG42 back into position after firing. Granted MG42 sounds cooler though!
 
#17
Surely today's weapons are more accurate (especially with that lovely little SUSAT), lighter, less prone to jamming (ahem) and so on? Surely that's why we replaced the enfield? And wouldn't the LAW dump all over the horrible little PIAT things that they had? And aren't our grenades generally cooler? No?

So for these reasons, while the 40's platoon is clearing their jammed rocket tubes out, trying not to drop their misfiring grenades and pinging rounds into the ground around our feet: we would slaughter them.
 
#18
Here's the thing.

I wouldn't want to mix it with some bloke brought up in the back streets of Manchester in the 1940s. I'd need all the optics I can get as I reckon if it was some 5' 6" inch terrier (who got conscripted out of the factory where he bent girders 12 hours a day) against me I'd be the one with the morale issue.

I don't think we are as hard as we used to be.

"You want me to wear this big red coat and do what?"
 
#19
LostBoss said:
Here's the thing.

I wouldn't want to mix it with some bloke brought up in the back streets of Manchester in the 1940s. I'd need all the optics I can get as I reckon if it was some 5' 6" inch terrier (who got conscripted out of the factory where he bent girders 12 hours a day) against me I'd be the one with the morale issue.

I don't think we are as hard as we used to be.

"You want me to wear this big red coat and do what?"
Hear, hear. Your 40s hard man makes your average chav look like a girl. My old fella (joined in '36, served 30 years) was as hard as nails. Didn't even have to raise his voice - just looked at you from under the slashed peak and twitched the moustache.
 
#20
Ah yes, but then you have to take into account the underhand tactics that today's chav (and I am happy to say, average infantryman) uses in street fights. The Broken bottle, lynx can and zippo lighter combo, especially when combined with switch knives and the like would surely catch our honourable 40's fighter off guard. Remeber, there was no crime 'back in the day.'
 

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